Children In Puerto Rico Following Hurricane Maria With Stuffed Toy Animals

Every year, we collect toys to give to the kids at the local children’s hospital.  But last year the hospital stopped accepting the stuffed ones.  As such, I saved what we had for another worthy cause. When our friend, Laura, became a Facebook friend with a mother in Puerto Rico following the devastating Hurricane Maria, we found some other children who needed something to hold on to in tough times.  Laura helped us mail these toys to her new friends on the island.  Here then is the spirit of Thanksgiving!   The video was sent to us today and it fills my heart.

Senator Franken Let Us Down

There are times when the news is not only surprising but just plain sad.  As today with Senator Al Franken.  I always felt Franken was somehow different from the general mix of those in congress.  Somehow a bit brighter, a bit more grounded.

So this news was most disturbing.

While rehearsing alone backstage one day ahead of the performance, Tweeden said that Franken told her “we need to rehearse the kiss.” She says she laughed it off, but Franken persisted, to which she responded something like, “Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss,” she says.

But Franken’s insistence continued, which Tweeden says made her uncomfortable. Eventually, she broke down and agreed to rehearse the kiss with him.

Running lines together leading up to the scene, Tweeden says that Franken then came at her and “put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.”

Words About Loving Maps From Ludovico Ariosto

I love maps.  Always have.

As a young boy after school I would lay down on our dining room floor and open a large hard-covered atlas.  Then I would get out our daily newspaper and locate names of places around the world I did not know and search for their locations.   That amusement with maps, and the information they impart has never diminished.

Today while reading The Fourth Part of the World by Toby Lester I came across a poem written by Ludovico Ariosto in the 1400’s which spoke to me with clarity and beauty.

Let  him wander who desires to wander.

Let him see England, Hungary, France and Spain.

I am content to live in my native land.

I have seen Tuscany, Lombardi, and the Romagna, and the mountain range that divides Italy, and the one that locks her in, and both the seas that wash her.

And that is quite enough for me.

Without ever paying an inn keeper I will go exploring the rest of the world with Ptolemy, whether the world be at peace or else at war.

Without ever making vows when the heavens flash with lightening, I will go bounding over all the seas, more secure aboard my maps than aboard ships.

And You Thought The News Could Not Get More Appalling?

Simply sickening.

The Trump administration confirmed it has lifted an Obama-era ban that had prohibited big-game hunters from importing trophies of elephants killed in two African nations.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirms the agency had determined limited hunting of African elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia would enhance conservation efforts. The Humane Society, however, blasted the move as a “green light” for wealthy Americans to kill an endangered species.

Those who have no regard for the needs of these gentle beasts are soulless people who will rot in hell.

Tax Increases For Lower Income Workers Under Republican Plan

When a tax plan is hatched so the GOP donor class are pleased means that American voters are about to be cheated.

The tax bill Senate Republicans are championing would give large tax cuts to millionaires while raising taxes on American families earning $10,000 to $75,000 over the next decade, according to a report released Thursday by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ official nonpartisan analysts.

President Trump and Republican lawmakers have been heralding their bill as a win for hard-working Americans, but the JCT report casts doubt on that claim. Tax hikes for households earning $10,000 to $30,000 would start in 2021 and grow sharply from there. By the year 2027, Americans earning $30,000 to $75,000 a year would also be forced to pay more in taxes even though people earning over $100,000 continue to get substantial tax cuts.


You Want To Talk About Political Hi-Jinks!

The Roy Moore sex scandal is so out of control that a new way to exit the matter has been getting air.  And it is simply an abuse of the political process–no matter how one looks at it or from which partisan perspective.

Politico reports that Senate Republican leaders are considering just scrapping the entire special election and rescheduling it.

They don’t have the power to schedule elections in Alabama — only the governor does — but they are considering asking interim Sen. Luther Strange to resign before the Dec. 12 special election, hoping that could trigger a whole new special election. (The first would be to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the second would be to replace Strange.)

When a political party has devolved to such a place they have a candidate who has a sexual interest in teenage girls, but the internal compass of the party is not strong enough to absolutely jettison the perv from their ranks before the sun goes down, means their is a fatally flawed and moral problem with said party.

To re-stage the election because there is not enough of a collective and demanding insistence to remove the offensive candidate is simply appalling.